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REVIEW: Craving the Forbidden by India Grey

Dear Ms. Grey:

Right before I received your book for review, a friend of mine told me she had a “meet cute” on a train. She ran into a guy who dropped a tux he was carrying. She later found out he was the best man and the tux was for the wedding. I joked about how this could have been a Harlequin Presents but that no millionaires would ever be caught riding the train. We then traded emails including different scenarios about how a millionaire would find himself on his train. A week later, I had to email her and say that there actually is a Harlequin Presents with a meet cute on a train. Harlequin Presents is like Hallmark, a book for every occassion.

craving the forbidden by india greySophie Greenham is an unknown actress used to playing minor roles. She has no aspirations of anything greater. Her best friend, Jasper, is the son of the Earl of Hawksworth and he has not come out to his father. He begs her to come to his family home where they are going to celebrate his father’s seventieth birthday and pretend to be his girlfriend. Sophie readily agrees and from what she has learned from Jasper about his family, she is happy to go and protect him.

To get to the family home, Sophie takes a train and stumbling around tired and without the funds, she makes her way into first class. She knows she shouldn’t be there, but it is the only place with an open seat and she is exhausted. Unfortunately just as she is taking her seat, her phone rings and it is her recently disposed of ex, Jean-Claude whose voice rings out loud enough for her and fifteen other businessmen to hear.

This is the circumstance in which Kit Fitzroy first meets his half brother’s pretend girlfriend. At this point, Kit only knows that this provocatively corseted girl with the high heeled knee boots is giving the shove to some poor French guy who, from the sounds eminating from the phone, must have been nursing his broken heart in the bottle. Kit isn’t adverse to a light flirtation and thus when, at the end of the train ride, he finds out the identity of Sophie, he immediately forms a bad impression. Unfaithful gold digger.

For Sophie, her attraction to Kit is untimely but she knows that Jasper is her gay friend and not her lover and thus she just doesn’t act like Kit thinks she should act.

Kit has always had a strained relationship with his half brother, in part because his father has always preferred Jasper to Kit and has always been cruel to Kit in small and large ways. Yet Kit cares for Jasper and doesn’t want to see him get taken in.

As Sophie and Kit spend more time together in the house, their attraction deepens. Sophie feels less guilty but she wants to come clean so that their feelings can develop naturally. The stern and businesslike Kit is beset by guilt and knows that an affair with his half brother’s fiance isn’t likely to help mend fences.

This book has a great blend humor from subterfuge (which also included keeping Jasper’s real love away from the party) and ANGST (or agnst as I prefer to spell it) from the forbidden love of Kit and Sophie. Kit isn’t an asshole but trying to protect his home, his family and cope with the lack of support and affection from his family. Sophie is a charming girl who who is the perfect foil. He desperately needs someone to love him and Sophie is ready with open arms. Sweet, funny, and charming. B+

Best regards,

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

11 Comments

  1. Moth
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 13:17:36

    This sounds really cute. Probably the first review for a Presents that I’ve seen that makes me want to read it. I like that there’s actually a reason the hero distrusts the heroine so completely.

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  2. Rosario
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 14:10:04

    Jane, does this have a proper HEA? I immediately fired up my Kindle and bought this after reading your review, and it says at the beginning that “The epic romance of Kit and Sophie begins with” this book “and concludes with” one coming out in December. I’m a bit puzzled by that!

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  3. Jane
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 14:15:30

    @Rosario: There is a “sequel” that comes out next month (or next month here in the US) but there is a proper HEA in this book. What happens in the next book is that Kit, who serves in the military, goes back to Afghanistan and also grapples with a secret that is revealed in this book. Their HEA isn’t exactly rocked, but their relationship goes through additional angst.

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  4. Rosario
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 14:21:51

    Excellent, thanks, Jane. I especially appreciate the info, as India Grey’s website is completely useless!

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  5. Jane
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 14:24:59

    @Rosario: I know! It’s ridiculous. I saw she was still blogging recently but her website suggests she hasn’t written a new book since last year.

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  6. Manga Maniac
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 15:28:06

    @Jane: So I can read this and be happy and not feel forced to read the next book? To my way of thinking, Harlequin series books should be all nice, neat, and tidy, and more importantly, all wrapped up in one volume. I don’t want to read about the same characters across two different books in my series romances.

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  7. Jane
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 15:30:06

    @Manga Maniac: Yes, I think so. I was actually surprised to see a sequel.

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  8. Vi
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 15:37:51

    Darn it! Pre-order. I wanted to read it now. Oh well, now I have something to look forward to on Dec.1.

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  9. India Grey
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 04:51:07

    Jane, thank you so much for the review. I loved the way you summarised the story – I wish I’d done it a fraction as well when I had to write a synopsis for my editor! I’m thrilled that you liked the book.

    Apologies to all for the situation with my website. It was designed and built by a friend who has subsequently been through a very bad time, with numerous complicated family and work issues to deal with, making it impossible for me to demand regular updates. Feeling horribly disloyal I recently authorised another company to take it over and signed the design off last week, so it should soon be up and running and doing a better job of keeping readers informed. Sorry for the inconvenience and frustration in the meantime, and thanks for bearing with me!

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  10. Elyssa Papa
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 22:46:09

    Read this and loved it.

    @Jane, there’s a sequel with the same hero and heroine? That’s intriguing.

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  11. Brussel Sprout
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 09:53:00

    I really loved this one. I’m a big fan of India Grey, and I found this memorable and although in principle, I want the whole business done and dusted, I am looking forward to a sequel and to find out the truth about the dark secrets revealed in the book. Though I have a pretty good idea of what will happen next.

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